IJN Yamato Mightest Battleship in History




 
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March 14th, 2007  
Bob
 

Topic: IJN Yamato Mightest Battleship in History


Yamato, lead ship of a class of two 65,000-ton (over 72,800-tons at full load) battleships, was built at Kure, Japan. She and her sister, Musashi were by far the largest battleships ever built, even exceeding in size and gun caliber (though not in weight of broadside) the U.S. Navy's abortive Montana class. Their nine 460mm (18.1-inch) main battery guns, which fired 1460kg (3200 pound) armor piercing shells, were the largest battleship guns ever to go to sea, and the two ships' scale of armor protection was also unsurpassed.
Commissioned in December 1941, just over a week after the start of the Pacific war, Yamato served as flagship of Combined Fleet commander Isoroku Yamamoto during the critical battles of 1942. During the following year, she spent most of her time at Truk, as part of a mobile naval force defending Japan's Centeral Pacific bases. Torpedoed by USS Skate (SS-305) in December 1943, Yamato was under repair until April 1944, during which time her anti-aircraft battery was considerably increased. She then took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June and the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October. During the latter action, she was attacked several times by U.S. Navy aircraft, and fired her big guns in an engagement with U.S. escort carriers and destroyers off the island of Samar.
Yamato received comparatively light damage during the Leyte Gulf battle, and was sent home in November 1944. Fitted with additional anti-aircraft machine guns, she was based in Japan during the winter of 1944-45. Attacked by U.S. Navy carrier planes in March 1945, during raids on the Japanese home islands, she was again only lightly damaged. The following month, she was assigned to take part in the suicidal "Ten-Go" Operation, a combined air and sea effort to destroy American naval forces supporting the invasion of Okinawa. On 7 April 1945, while still some 200 miles north of Okinawa, Yamato was attacked by a massive force of U.S. carrier planes and sunk.
After the war, the great battleship became an object of intense fascination in Japan, as well as in foreign countries. Yamato's remains were located and examined in 1985 and again examined, more precisely, in 1999. She lies in two main parts in some 1000 feet of water. Her bow portion, severed from the rest of the ship in the vicinity of the second main battery turret, is upright. The midships and stern section is upside down nearby, with a large hole in the lower starboard side close to the after magazines.
March 21st, 2007  
Western Ally
 
it would have been one hell of a fight if the go 10 task force duked it out with Task Force 58's battleline, however there would have been more deaths on the United States side.
March 22nd, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
Mighty battleships are just BIG ass bullseyes for air power. I'm sure the fish appreciate her very much.
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March 24th, 2007  
Warwick
 
Very true Bulldog.
May 23rd, 2007  
mmarsh
 
 
In surface vs surface engagements yes, the Battleship was past its prime. However in Coastal Bombardment/off-shore artillery support role, those Big Guns could do wonders for the Infantry and Marines on the shore. So the BB wasn't completely useless in WWII.

Also BBs could throw up lots of FlaK and were essential in close-in carrier defense, especially the American BB whose AAA gun were superior to the Japanese.
May 25th, 2007  
Strongbow
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
In surface vs surface engagements yes, the Battleship was past its prime. However in Coastal Bombardment/off-shore artillery support role, those Big Guns could do wonders for the Infantry and Marines on the shore. So the BB wasn't completely useless in WWII.

Also BBs could throw up lots of FlaK and were essential in close-in carrier defense, especially the American BB whose AAA gun were superior to the Japanese.
They did some great work at Omaha beach D-Day. Bulldust may have forgotten that.
May 25th, 2007  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
In surface vs surface engagements yes, the Battleship was past its prime. However in Coastal Bombardment/off-shore artillery support role, those Big Guns could do wonders for the Infantry and Marines on the shore. So the BB wasn't completely useless in WWII.

Also BBs could throw up lots of FlaK and were essential in close-in carrier defense, especially the American BB whose AAA gun were superior to the Japanese.
I don't agree, surface to surface engagements which included coastal bombardment were all battleships were designed for and if not for the development of air power battleships would probably still be the primary naval weapon.
August 27th, 2007  
LeEnfield
 
 
Now a salvo from a Battleship is some thing to behold, especially when you are only a few hundred yards away
August 27th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I don't agree, surface to surface engagements which included coastal bombardment were all battleships were designed for and if not for the development of air power battleships would probably still be the primary naval weapon.
Indeed, 2 Battleships were used for coastal bombardment in the first Gulf War out of 4 commissioned to serve as part of the proposed 600 ship US Navy from Reagan's era. Since then, budget cutbacks rather than military obsolescence has been the reason for their decommission. USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin were, until 2006, maintained to a standard where they could be rapidly returned to service as fire support vessels. The US Marines have stated that with the decommission of the Iowa class battleships they no longer have adequate fire support for amphibious landings.

The bottom line is that if they could afford it, all 4 Iowa class battleships would probably still be active in the US Navy.
August 27th, 2007  
perseus
 
 
Most 'modern' battleships designs must have dated from pre-WW2 or early WW2, before the impact of air power was fully realised. However, consider that with sufficient foresight the big guns of the Battleships were designed to elevate to high angles and fire fragmentation shells (I think some of the smaller calibre weapons were indeed dual purpose).

Now consider how these ships and fleets were engaged, by closely packed squadrons of aircraft. Imagine the effect of a large 1.5t shell of the Yamato exploding within the vicinity of such a squadron using radar controlled range detonation. I expect several dozen of these shells could be fired off before a squadron could get within dive bombing range since they would be within range for 20 miles or more. This type of tactical AA fire would surely consign squadron style attacks to history and force aircraft to disperse and change their approach strategy. As far as I know no battleship ever had this ability, therefore their AA potential was never fully tested.
 


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